Merry (German-Russian) Christmas!

Each family has certain traditions when it comes to the decoration of their Christmas trees. Amongst my larger family and my friend's families I have seen all sorts of trees:
purist ones with only 'real candles',and classic ones with silver tinsel and glitter balls, a tree only decorated with straw star and another with only home- and hand-made ornaments.

Our tradition of tree decoration is a German-Russian mixture: More than twenty-five years ago, my father brought some Christmas tree balls from Russia, which, back then, were kind of a mass product and which, nowadays, are a rarity - impossible to be purchased anywhere anymore. The most important and also our favorite figures in the set are Снегурочка (Snegurotschka, little Snowflake) and Дед Мороз (Ded Moroz, Father Frost).

They are for Russian Christmas, what Father Christmas and Christ Child are in the German tradition, or what Santa Clause and Rudolph are in the American tradition: At New Year's Day, Father Frost and his granddaughter Snowflake bring presents to the children (for, in the Russian tradition, presents are given on the 1st of January, and Russian Christmas takes place on the 7th of January). Both are leading characters in a number of famous Russian fairy tales, where Father Frost owns a magic stick that turns everything it touches into ice - for instance in the movie Морозко (Adventures in the Magical Forest).

And traditionally, Christmas presents are given on Christmas Eve in Germany: In my family, all presents are hidden under the tree, covered with a blanket (the older we grew, the more blankets we needed). We then take turns to take a present and give it to the person it is intended for - a lengthy yet funny ritual accompanied by a lot of laughter.

Merry Christmas!

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